Autumn Meadows Published

Berkeley County Teacher Goes Above And Beyond

Lurah Cochran, an English teacher at Hedgesville High School
Photo from left to right: Interim Superintendent of Berkeley County Schools Ronald Stephens, State Treasurer Riley Moore, Above and Beyond recipient Lurah Cochran, Principal Ron Lyons, Executive Director of WVPB Butch Antolini

Lurah Cochran, an English teacher at Hedgesville High School, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award for November, which recognizes excellence and creativity of Mountain State teachers.

Cochran was presented the award by WVPB’s executive director Butch Antolini and West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore. Interim Superintendent of Berkeley County Schools, Ronald Stephens, also attended. She received a monetary award and a signature Blenko Glass blue apple paperweight. The award is sponsored by the West Virginia State Treasurers’ Office, presenter of the SMART529 college savings program in the Mountain State.

Cochran was nominated by her daughter, Keandra Cochran who is currently a freshman student at Hedgesville High School. She explains first-hand how dedicated Cochran is daily whether it be face-to-face or online teaching, sometimes using herself as a guinea pig for her mother to create engaging lessons.

Cochran goes above and beyond to make learning fun for her students by using online interactive games, revamping Jenga, creating escape rooms for students, and more.

“She is a student favorite, because she engages students, she makes them think, and she cares for them,” Hedgesville High School Principal Ron Lyons told The Martinsburg Journal. “They care about her, too. It’s awesome to see the impact a teacher can have on the students.”

Based on her nomination, Cochran is a leader, mentor, and advocate for her students. “She was the original dance sponsor for five years, even though she doesn’t dance, so the girls could have a team,” states Keandra. “She has a giving nature and uses it for the betterment of her students and school.”

Cochran told Ainsley Hall at The Martinsburg Journal, “It means people are recognizing me for what I’m doing, so I guess I’m doing something right.”

Whether it is helping a student start a club, going to games and recitals, or walking with a student on seniors’ night so they are not alone, Cochran has built life-long relationships with her students through dedication and compassion.

Each month WVPB has an esteemed panel of judges that select one deserving teacher who goes above and beyond for the students in West Virginia. If you know of a deserving teacher that goes “Above and Beyond,” please click here to nominate them.